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The Undiscovered Self

If a worldwide consciousness could aires that all division and all antagonism are due to the splitting of the opposites in the psyche, then one would really know where to attack. But if even the smallest and most personal stirrings of the individual soul-- so insignificant in themselves-- remain as unconscious and unrecognized as they have hitherto, they will go on accumulating and produce mass groupings and mass movements which cannot be subjected to reasonable control or manipulation to a good end. All direct efforts to do so are no more than shadow boxing, the most infatuated by illusion being the gladiators themselves.

The deciding factor lies with the individual man, who knows no answer to his dualism. This abyss has suddenly yawned open before him with the latest events in world history, after mankind had lived for many centuries in the comfortable belief that unitary God had created man in his own image, as a little unity. Even today people are largely unconscious of the fact that every individual is a cell in the structure of various international organisms and is therefore causally implicated in their conflicts. The individual man knows that as an individual being he is more or less meaningless and feels himself the victim of uncontrollable forces, but, on the other hand, he harbours within himself a dangerous shadow and opponent who is involved as an invisible helper in the dark machinations of the political monster. It is in the nature of political bodies always to see evil in the opposite group, just as the individual has an ineradicable tendency to get rid of everything he does not know and does not want to know about himself by foisting it off on somebody else.


-Carl Gustav Jung "The Undiscovered Self" 1957